National parks are considered by many as one of the national treasures of the United States. Every year they provide campgrounds, recreation areas, and swathes of protected forests and lakes and rivers for the multitudes of visitors hoping to escape into nature. The national park system is operating on an ever-tightening budget, causing many roads to fall into disrepair, rangers to have to cover ground further and further away, and irreplaceable historical sites are receiving less maintenance every year.
Glacier National Park
Enter Revisit Products: they are dedicated to giving as much as they can to the national parks with their “Quarter Back” program. Revisit donates a full 25% of their profits to designated national parks, working with them to determine where their money could make the most impact. At the moment, they’re working with four parks, on projects ranging from a youth core employment program in Glacier National Park to buying and maintaining bikes for the rangers in Independence Historical Park.
The Children’s Orchestra Society is dedicated to enriching the lives of young musicians. COS teaches “the language of music”, training its members in classical music and finding performance opportunities with both peers and professional musicians. COS nurtures each individual child, developing ‘tailor-made’ parts so that children at different levels can participate together in the rewarding group experience of a full orchestra.
COS makes a difference every day in the lives of children and teens, teaching them teamwork, life skills, and joy in music through learning and performing in orchestra and chamber-music settings. As one former COS member said,
“COS was my very first orchestral experience, clearly one that has touched my life in immeasurable ways. I know that I would not be doing what I am doing now were it not for those incredible years of fun music-making.”
This month, Rodney B. is our super shopper extraordinaire! He raised $348 for his cause, Rock Run Animal Rescue.
Rock Run Animal Rescue is a home-grown animal rescue in Pennsylvania, begun when the founder (Jo) realized they had already taken in over 25 animals in need, from cats to chickens to goats to horses. Rock Run is both a rescue and a healing center – focusing on holistic healing for the animals under their care. This involves a combination of alternative healing methods and traditional veterinary medicine.
For his efforts, Rodney will receive a $150 gift card from Amazon!
Fairytale Brownies, bringing your favorite treats straight to your door, has collaborated with kabOOM to bring playtime straight to the door of children across America. kabOOM has been working towards the goal of having a playground within walking distance of every child in America. In the spirit of celebrating that time of play in a child’s life, Fairytale Brownies has donated over $100,000 to kabOOM in both money and brownies. In 2011, Fairytale Brownies funded and built a 3,100 square-foot playground for homeless and transitional students at a school in Pheonix.
They have also pledged to match any donations their customers make to kabOOM, up to $5000. So if you want to support playgrounds across America, AND get brownies at the same time, Fairytale Brownies is the way to go.
The Malibu Community Labor Exchange takes an innovative approach to working with and helping those living in poverty.
The organization, run out of a trailer in Malibu, takes to heart the proverb: “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime”. While yes, free food and coffee are provided at the meetings, the Labor Exchange is set up as a space for potential employers and laborers to come together and create jobs. The Exchange exists to facilitate temporary employment opportunities, and through that connection develop more permanent positions for those seeking jobs. It has been operating since 1992, and as of 2013 had hired over 8000 workers.
The Malibu Labor Exchange
As one member put it, “Every day hundreds of people wait on corners or at store fronts hoping to get work so they can support themselves and their families. And every day, people have large and small jobs to be done around their homes, yards or businesses and want reliable workers to help for a day or longer. For over 20 years the Malibu Community Labor Exchange, a community created not for profit organization, has been providing an organized and supportive place for the people of Malibu to hire and be hired – away from random corners and storefronts. Beyond offering this free service to the community, it offers opportunities for the unemployed to build independence and self-sufficiency through work.”
Kari C. is this month’s super shopper! She raised a total of $181.95 in one month for her cause, The Oasis Sanctuary.
Where does a pet parrot go if it’s owner dies? Where might a captive cockatoo flee to if its owner decides it’s no longer wanted? These captive exotic birds struggle to survive on their own in the wild; this is where the Oasis Sanctuary found its calling. The Oasis Sanctuary is committed to providing lifelong homes and care for captive exotic birds. It’s located in rural Arizona to keep space between its over 600 resident birds and their human neighbors.
For her stellar support of the Oasis Sanctuary, Kari will receive a $150 gift card from Sephora!
FootLocker.com dominates the United States athletic shoe market – it is the number one seller of name-brand athletic footwear in the USA. Footlocker also dominates the philanthropy market; in 2001 the retailer established a philanthropic organization called the Foot Locker Foundation.
Every year, this foundation awards up to 20 scholarships of $20,000 each to hard-working scholar-athletes. Last year, the 20 recipients included a Nepalese refugee and soccer player now studying engineering to improve the infrastructure in his home country, a basketball player who channeled her difficult home life into volunteer work in her community, and a soccer player who’s determination after a catastrophic car accident is the reason she can play at all.
The Foot Locker Foundation also has a strong partnership with the United Negro College Fund. Every year, the Foundation raises money for the UNCF through the On Our Feet gala, which has provided over 600 students with scholarships.
On Our Feet Gala
As the rates of suicide and PTSD among military members are rising rapidly, the number of people and organizations that support members of the military and their families is growing in response. H.E.R.O.E.S. Care is a program that coordinates and organizes the tens of thousands of caregivers, professional mental health care workers, and NGOs to provide the best possible support to military members and their families.
H.E.R.O.E.S. functions on a one-to-one basis. If a member of the military chooses to enroll in the program, a Hometown Support Volunteer (HSV) is assigned to their family, and stays with them for up to 2 years post-deployment. They provide support and are trained to look for signs that a mental health professional may be needed, in which case they call on the H.E.R.O.E.S. extensive network of professionals and NGOs with expertise. H.E.R.O.E.S. caregivers act as a first line of defense support system for military members and their families, helping them through a difficult time and able to call on the resources of the larger organization if necessary.
Service and support dogs aren’t always seeing eye dogs – Canine Support Teams, Inc is an organization that provides service dogs to people with a huge variety of disabilities. These dogs are trained to care for people using wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches as well as people with autism, epilepsy, PTSD or many other disabilities that affect their ability to lead an independent life. A service dog can make all the difference in the world to their owner – caring for their needs and providing loving company.
Not only do the dogs help their owners immensely, they provide purpose and improvement in the lives of their trainers as well. The service dogs are trained by inmates – the “Prison Pup Program” works with women at the California Institute for Women, teaching them the skills to become dog trainers, groomers, and technicians. Not one of the inmates who has worked with the program has returned to prison since.
Canine Support Teams is spreading good will in every direction and has raised over $1900 through iGive.com!!! Whether it’s the clients, the trainers, or the dogs, everyone involved benefits greatly from the good works being done by this organization.
It’s getting to be that time of the year when you have to PLAN YOUR FUTURE and you have nowhere to put all those pesky appointments that fall after January 1st! Thanks to Mead, you can now buy a 2015 calendar or planner that helps generate a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project – two birds, one stone.
The Wounded Warrior Project is an organization that works with wounded veterans, raising awareness and providing support for every service member that comes home injured. Their vision is to “foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history”.
Between June 1 2013 and December 31 2014, ACCO Brands, the manufacturer of AT-A-GLANCE planning products, has pledged to donate a minimum of $125,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project, making your 2015 planner (found at Mead) a valiant purchase indeed.